‘Didn’t want to do this to baby, but I’ve had enough’: court hears messages sent by former RCMP officer accused of murder

Prince Albert Court of King's Bench. – Herald file photo

Data logs recovered from multiple cell phones showed a marriage in crisis, and a fractured romantic relationship between former RCMP officer Bernie Herman, and the man he is accused of killing, 26-year-old Braden Herman, no relation.

Day three of the first degree murder trial resumed on Wednesday with Const. Riley Babott of the Calgary Police Service reading messages, playing video, and reviewing audio logs recovered from cell phones belonging to Bernie, Braden, and Bernie’s wife Janice.

The data includes messages from February 2019 to May 11, 2021, the day Braden Herman was killed in a wooden area along the northern outskirts of Prince Albert.

The court heard messages from Janice accusing Bernie of cheating on her with Braden, along with messages from Braden to Bernie saying he is not ashamed of their relationship and accusing Bernie of being embarrassed of his sexuality.

Babott read messages sent by Janice on May 11 accusing her husband of calling Braden daily while ignoring her. In response, Bernie wrote that “Braden is telling lies” but “he has gone too far and I’ve had enough.”

Babott read another message Bernie sent accusing his wife of believing “all his (Braden’s) lies,” along with another message the evening of May 11 saying he had just shot and killed Braden.

“Didn’t want to do this to baby, but I’ve had enough,” Bernie wrote to his wife.

Babott was the only witness called Wednesday morning. He gave evidence outlining the process police used to extract files from Bernie Herman’s personal and work cell phones, along with cell phones belonging to Janice and Braden.

Babott testified that Braden’s phone was badly damaged and password protected, meaning investigators could only extract “minimal information,” most of it coming from the social media app Snapchat.

Messages recovered from Janice’s and Bernie’s phones show Janice upset and angry with her husband. In one message, Janice accuses Bernie of ignoring her, but never ignoring Braden.

“I was alone for months while you had the time of your life,” Janice wrote in one of the messages Babott read to the court.

“Am I supposed to be okay with you talking to him?” Janice wrote in another message.

Babott read two messages from Janice telling her husband to “cut all ties” with Brendan. He also read a message where Janice wrote that she “cried herself to sleep many times.”

Janice also wrote to Bernie, arguing that Braden was sending her messages about Bernie being a “closet case.”

After another complaint, Bernie wrote back “like he tells the truth” and “go ahead and believe him.”

The majority of messages between Braden and Bernie came from Bernie’s personal phone. Babott told the court Bernie’s work phone received little use.

Some messages between the two contained sexually explicit wording, while others contain words of affection.

“Love you, my love,” reads one message.

“Can’t wait to kiss you, lol,’ reads another.

Other messages Babott read to the court were more argumentative, with Braden accusing Bernie of not spending enough time with him.

Babott testified that Bernie’s personal phone showed 43 outgoing calls to Braden’s phone on May 11. Most of them went unanswered.

The trial will resume at Court of King’s Bench on Thursday morning, with closing arguments expected on either Dec. 13 or Dec. 14.